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Overspending the theme, but Canadians already digging themselves out of holiday debt: poll

Last Updated Jan 30, 2020 at 6:56 am PDT

FILE (Souce: iStock)

More than a third of Canadians overspent over the holiday season, a new poll has found

While many Canadians admitted to overspending, RBC says 30 per cent of these people have already paid off holiday debt

The biggest regret, according to those polled, was that they didn't spend enough time with family and friends

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It turns out Canadians were feeling quite generous over the holidays.

Despite their best intentions to stick to a budget, more than one third of Canadians admit to having spent an average of $459 more than planned. According to the annual RBC Post-Holiday Spending & Saving Insights Poll, men were more likely than women to go over their budget.

In comparison, people went over their budget by an average $384 over the 2018 holiday season.

The silver lining to this news could be that about 30 per cent of Canadians have already paid off their extra holiday bills.

The remaining overspenders plan to cover the costs in a number of ways, including spending less on day to day expenses and cutting back on things like entertainment, lunch, and coffee.

“Skipping little extras can add up in a big way – you don’t have to make huge sacrifices to get your finances on track and build your savings,” Niranjan Vivekanandan, Vice-President, Term Investments & Savings, says in a release.

While many people overspent during the holidays, the biggest regret, according to those polled, was that they didn’t spend enough time with family and friends.

That was followed by not making a budget and sticking to it, and buying too many gifts.

Looking ahead, respondents identified a few things they would do differently for the next holiday shopping season. They include regular savings, spending less or try to resist spending more than they’ve saved, creating a budget for the holidays, and digging for more deals and sales.

“Every dollar counts, whether you make a conscious decision to save it or simply not spend it,” Vivekanandan adds.

“We all have such good intentions to save more, especially early each new year. Think how many times you’ve said, ‘I’ll make my lunch’ or ‘I won’t buy a coffee today’? Small amounts do add up, and here’s where technology can be a big help.”